On November 19, 2017, an ultra-nationalist Facebook page called “Antiliberal Channel” uploaded a photo with a caption “Peaceful Demonstration by Immigrants in France“. In the description, we read: “These people truly represent the ideal of culture.”
In reality, the picture depicts a scene from the film “World War Z” directed by Mark Foster in 2013. The plot of the film follows a pandemic of an unknown viral-zombie agent, which has spread all over the globe and threatens mankind with extinction. With this photo-manipulation “Antiliberal Channel” equates the migrant crisis to a peril jeopardizing the whole world.
The dissemination of film scenes as a real news story is a proven modus operandi used by propagandist news platforms. For example, on August 26, 2016, the online edition “Georgia and the World” published an article, claiming that Americans were experimenting with interspecies breeding between humans and animals. The written material was illustrated by the poster of “The Chimeran”, a new Science-fiction motion picture from the producer of “Star Wars”.
The same method was actively used in conjunction with the events in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, when the pro-Russian propaganda platforms were making use of film screenshots as evidence of real facts, in order to prove the aggressive nature of the Ukrainian government. An example of this behavior is the news story prepared by Internet portal “Boevaia Visota” (Боевая Висота/ Extent of Combat) on May 2, 2014 about the burning of a Trade Union House in Odessa. One of the illustrations used for this material was in fact a shot from the American TV series “War And Remembrance”, which appeared on screens in 1988.
Myth Detector Laboratory